Start or Grow Your Veteran-Owned Business

Veterans Initiave

Nearly one in four active duty service members and veterans want to open and operate their own business. Opportunity, freedom, and solving problems attract them to the challenge of owning a business. If you’re looking to join the ranks of the 2.4 million military veterans who run their own business (U.S. Census), we can assist you.

The UCF Business Incubation Program recognizes veterans are equipped with a powerful set of skills including leadership, striving for excellence and completing the mission. Through the incubator’s Veterans Initiative, we help veterans realize and leverage those skills in an entrepreneurial setting. Whether you’re veteran looking to explore an idea for a potential business or need help scaling your existing company, Our Mission is to empower and support veteran entrepreneurs through business guidance, education and mentorship.

If you’re a veteran entrepreneur, we want to hear from you! Please complete the form below to learn more.

Program Overview

Through our partnership with Veterans Florida, the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program provides a 15-week course, consisting of both online and in-person training where veterans learn to test and validate their ideas or business concepts using the Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup Methodology.

Educational Phase 

During this fifteen-week period, selected participants will attend in-class training to be held every two weeks on Saturdays at one of seven participating institutions of higher education. This phase will prepare participants for all elements of entrepreneurship. The face-to-face instruction will provide an opportunity for hands-on learning and application of fundamental principles facilitated by business experts. The curriculum will include concepts ranging from crafting a business plan to accessing capital for new business ventures. Participants will need to complete online coursework in between the Saturday sessions. Facilitators will work intensively and directly with participants to develop an entrepreneurial skillset and test a scalable business model using the Lean Startup Method.  The next course is set to begin January 2018, sign up for the 2017-2018 wait list below.

Ongoing Business Mentoring Phase

Following successful completion of the educational phase, participants will receive ongoing mentoring and coaching from  incubator staff, business mentors and leaders. This phase of the program will enable participants to receive hands-on guidance to navigate common entrepreneurial challenges and to receive specific feedback designed to accelerate their entrepreneurial success.

 Support Network & Workshops

Veterans entrepreneurs gain access to the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and support network through one-on-one coaching and ongoing  workshops on topics relevant to emerging businesses.

Assessment Form

Please leave this field empty.

Military Branch
ArmyAir ForceNavyMarine CorpsCoast Guard

Military Status
ActiveGuardReserveRetiredVeteran

Employment Status
Self-employedEmployedUnemployed

Briefly describe your business concept.

Which of the following steps have you taken towards launching your business?
Written a business plan/canvasResearched your marketAssembled a teamApplied for or secured financingLocated an appropriate spaceSet up an accounting systemApplied for permits or licensesRegistered your business

Community Partners

Peer mentoring and collaboration is a critical element to business success. As we take on this role of supporting veteran entrepreneurs throughout Central Florida, we welcome partnerships and invite veterans and non-veterans alike to get involved with the Veterans Initiative. Please join us in supporting veteran entrepreneurs as they launch and grow businesses while creating jobs and growth in the Central Florida region. To learn more about how you or your organization could get involved, please contact us:

Rebecca Hertz
Program Coordinator
Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program
UCF Business Incubation Program
rebecca.hertz@ucf.edu
(321)247-8628

Ricardo Garcia
Program Manager
Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program
UCF Business Incubation Program
rg@ucf.edu
(407)823-2346

Rafael Caamano
Program Manager
Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program
UCF Business Incubation Program
rafael@ucf.edu
(407)278-4880